Last summer, the public murder of George Floyd shook our local Sacramento community and our nation. Over the last few weeks, our students and families watched the trial of Derek Chauvin. For so many, deep feelings have resurfaced. In light of the jury’s verdict, we acknowledge the enormous toll that this trial and so many other acts of violence have taken on Black Americans in the United States. In many ways, this is both a moment of justice achieved and a reminder of the tremendous work we have ahead of us—as a country and as educators tasked with teaching the next generation of young people.
The trauma of witnessing continuous violence has had an impact on our students, families, and staff. It also reminds us why we must be steadfast and intentional in our mission to address and eliminate the systemic, racist structures and biases that lead to the mistreatment of our fellow citizens based on race. We know as educators that one way to support social and emotional wellbeing is by creating venues for open dialogue, individual growth, resource sharing, and providing emotional support.
It is imperative that we create space for students to engage in real conversations that help them make sense of the complexities and injustices that are happening in their communities. Classrooms are often the safest place for students to ask questions and process their feelings, or grapple with what they are witnessing in the broader society. The resources linked below include toolkits, discussion guides, and educational materials that can help families and educators navigate complex issues of race and bias with young people.
We stand in solidarity with the Black children and families of Sacramento, and will continue to work to create a more just, equitable, and inclusive county where diversity is honored and all of our children—regardless of race or status—have an opportunity to realize their dreams.
Links for Families and Educators
- A Conversation with My Black Son—A short video produced by The New York Times in which parents reveal their struggles with telling their Black sons that they may be targets of racial profiling.
- Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice—A resource for parents that provides tips for all age ranges from preschool through age 17 produced by Teaching.
- Facing History and Ourselves—Website offering resources to address racism, antisemitism, and prejudice to help students connect choices made in the past to those they will confront on their own.
- Talking to Children About Racial Bias—A parent-friendly website created by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Books to Help You Talk to Your Kids About Racism—An article by Today’s Parent recommending a list of 27 books designed to help parents have conversations about racism with their children.
- Learning for Change: How to Address Race and Police Violence—Equity scholars offer their advice and resources for addressing race and police violence in schools.
- Say Their Names Toolkit—A comprehensive toolkit from Chicago Public Schools, featuring multiple articles and points of reflection for engaging school stakeholders.
- Restorative Processing Toolkit—A resource from the Legal Rights Center for communities using restorative practices to process the trials for the former officers involved in the murder of George Floyd.
- Let’s Talk About Cultivating a More Inclusive Culture in Your Community—Epoch Education is a national leader offering resources in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Resources for Teaching Tolerance—Free resources to educators (teachers, administrators, counselors, and other practitioners) who work with children from kindergarten through high school.
- Six Steps to Speak Up—An article from Teaching Tolerance which provides free resources to educators (teachers, administrators, counselors, and other practitioners) who work with children from kindergarten through high school.
- The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health—An evidence-based document from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the role of racism in child and adolescent development and health.